Rhode Island may not be the glitziest and most glamorous state to offer gambling, but the state, at least judging by their improved gambling revenues, is reaping the benefits of a relatively productive gambling business.
Earlier this week, the Rhode Island Lottery’s audited financial statements revealed that the state earned $378 million in state-sanctioned gambling in the budget year that ended last June 30. The Providence Journal reports that the $378 million figure is an improvement of $23 million from the previous year’s figures. It might not mean a whole lot in terms of numbers, but any improvement in gambling revenue in an economy like this can be chalked up as a positive sign of a healthy gambling business in the state.
The biggest contributor to the entire revenue pie comes from slot machine profits, which accounted for $321 million of the entire figure. Translate that into percentages from the $383.6 million in total gross profits from gambling and that accounts for 84% of the total amount.
The audit also reported a 7% increase in net slot parlor revenue compared to the numbers from the previous year. Likewise, online and instant ticket revenue also increased, accounting for 7.9% and 8.7% improvements, respectively.
With the $383.6 million in total gross profits, the $378 million represents the net income of the state after taking out payment for lottery winners, prize awards, commissions, and operating expenses from the state’s two casinos at Newport Grand and Twin River.
While there’s reason for optimism with the uptick in net revenues, the state could still project a more promising revenue future if the state grants Newport Grand and Twin River licenses to start offering table games, including blackjack and poker, inside their casinos. Those games are still currently banned in Rhode Island, but a November vote has been set to legalize table games in the two establishments.
Not everybody seems to be in favor of the gambling expansion, though. The Narragansett Indian tribe had sought to keep the question off the November ballot.